Scores of climate change protesters were arrested outside a coal power plant in New Hampshire on Saturday as they staged a demonstration calling for the facility to be shut down.
About 120 people gathered outside Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire, on Saturday afternoon, with 67 people being arrested, according to the Bow Police Department.
The protesters were charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, according to police. There were no injuries or any damage to property, authorities said.
“The Town of Bow would like to thank our local, county, regional and state partners for their assistance in ensuring that safety remained the top priority for our community, and all those who gathered at the Merrimack Station,” Bow Police Chief Margaret Lougee said in a statement.
“There’s a coalition of a lot of different organizations that are here today to shut down this power plant,” Sam Tardiff, of 350 New Hampshire Action and the New Hampshire Youth Movement, who staged the protest, told Manchester ABC affiliate WMUR. “The time has come. It’s 2019. We shouldn’t be burning coal anymore.”
Merrimack Station is owned by Granite Shore Power and is one of five stations managed by the company.
“We respect and support the right of any person to express his or her views,” Granite Shore Power said in a statement to WMUR. “Unfortunately, today’s protest and trespassing was more about making a scene and breaking the law than about conveying an informed point of view.”
The protest comes on the heels of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit on Sept. 23 during the annual U.N. General Assembly in New York.
The summit was highlighted by the attendance of Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who has been holding weekly strikes to call attention to the issue of climate change. She spoke in front of the U.N. and called out world leaders, saying, “People are suffering, people are dying, entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth.”
Her strike on Friday coincided with large marches all around the world.
President Donald Trump has been a vocal supporter of coal power, even though coal-fired power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. power sector, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
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He touted the coal industry during a speech in Monaca, Pennsylvania, last month, saying, “The last administration tried to shut down Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania fracking. If they got in, your fracking is gone. Your coal is gone. You guys, I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do. You don’t want to make widgets, right?”
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